The laser cutting technology area has information on 2-D and 3-D cutting machines, optics, resonators, cutting gases, and automated material handling systems. In addition to conventional CO2 systems, it has information on solid-state fiber and disk lasers.
January 10, 2006
Many factors can affect laser processing efficiency. This article, Part I of a two-part series, stresses laser system maintenance and discusses factors that can affect beam quality and efficiency—namely, impurities introduced by laser gases and gas supply systems and how to prevent them. It also has a supply system requirements list.
December 13, 2005
Laser beam sources with higher output powers and improved beam qualities have expanded the range of laser applications. Most system's lasers have power higher than 2 kW. Higher power does not always increase the speed, however. Increasing the power during thermal cutting value may cause increased heat-affected zones on the material and place higher demands on the motion system, thus limiting the cutting speed. A new patented cutting machine, the diffusion-cooled CO2 slab laser, may offer improved beam quality and smaller focus diameters under conditions comparable to conventional fast-axial-flow CO2 laser with 4-kW output power.
November 8, 2005
Jeff Adams may have taken the nontraditional route in manufacturing by starting out in the laser equipment vendor community, but he has since moved to the job shop side of the industry, using his laser knowledge and expertise to help grow his 12-year-old laser job shop in Libertyville, Ill.
October 11, 2005
Paramount Fitness Corp., a manufacturer of strength training equipment, used to purchase small quantities of laser-cut parts from outside vendors. Its desire for a laser could not be justified because the quantities of parts were so low. Engineers at TRUMPF worked with Paramount to create special fixtures so that a TC L 2530 sheet metal laser could handle tubular parts. The company soon found the new laser running 10 hours per day, six days a week. In keeping with the company's strategy to reduce direct labor, it soon justified a TUBEMATIC to handle its tubular parts.
October 11, 2005
Today's laser sources have the power and beam quality needed to cut and join metal in an expeditious and repetitious manner. The market demands that type of flexible production, so those characteristics are basic requirements in modern laser devices. The market demands also have promoted the idea of multifunctional processing. That has led to the development of a combination head capable of laser cutting and welding 3-D metal work pieces.
August 9, 2005
Kvaerner Power Inc.'s Fairmont, W.V., metal fabricating operation needed new market opportunities and someone to take over plasma cutting chores after its business partner went out of business. They found a Pennsylvania job shop to help with metal cutting and eventually learned that a 3-D laser could help them bring their outsourced jobs back in-house and that the laser could lead to new business.
July 12, 2005
Three food service equipment makers spoke with The FABRICATOR about their investments in more automated fabrication equipment, especially lasers, and how these investments have paid off for them, even as the economy takes its time to recover.
July 11, 2005
Metalen Verhoestraete, a metal service center in Roeselare, Belgium, needed a laser, but not just any laser would do. Because many of the company's clients had 3- and 4-meter lasers, Metalen sought a laser that had a much longer bed so it would not compete with its customers.
February 8, 2005
Manufacturing requires reliability and service, as John Deere Mexico found out when it researched an upgrade for manufacturing equipment. The company invested in a punch-laser combination machine and a press brake to help become a just-in-time manufacturer.
July 13, 2004
When laser gases are used in significant volumes or in an around-the-clock operation, a centralized gas delivery system is a practical necessity. A well-conceived delivery system reduces operating costs, increases productivity, and enhances safety.
February 12, 2004
Contract manufacturer CGI Automated Manufacturing Inc., Cicero, Ill., fabricates parts as an outsource resource for vertical manufacturers. The company started out as a stamping operation, then added other fabrication technologies, including welding, press brake forming, drilling, punching, rolling, shearing, and cutting.
September 25, 2003
Bourgault Industries specializes in seeding and tillage equipment, and other agricultural products including sprayers, grain carts, and heavy harrows. The company performs all fabrication involved in manufacturing the equipment from sheet or plate to finished product. It examined its operating costs and found that setup times in several parts factored significantly in the overall cost of the part.
July 24, 2003
As we all know, the laser industry has seen easier times. Economic and market pressures have changed the competitive landscape for laser cutting equipment, and the changes are likely to continue. Both lasermakers and laser users need to adapt to the changes in the laser market, and the companies that recognize and adapt first are likely to be those that succeed.